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March 8, 2010

CHINA: BYD plans to start European EV and hybrid sales next year

BYD (Build Your Dreams) plans to become the first Chinese automaker to sell electric and hybrid cars in western Europe next year.

BYD (Build Your Dreams) plans to become the first Chinese automaker to sell electric and hybrid cars in western Europe next year.

A BYD spokesman told Bloomberg News the E6 electric car is among the models BYD plans to introduce. It has teamed up with Daimler to develop electric vehicles in China and plans to begin selling cars in Europe and the US.

BYD sold 48 of its F3DM hybrid vehicles last year to corporate and government customers in China. Sales of the E6 have not yet started in its home market.

BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu said in January the company may start US sales this year. The first E6 hatchbacks are due to arrive there late this year.

BYD and Daimler said last week they will cooperate on developing an electric vehicle for the Chinese market. That model may be sold overseas in the future.

The two companies could invest more than EUR100m (US$137m) in the venture, Daimler’s chief executive officer Dieter Zetsche said last week.

BYD signed a separate electric vehicle agreement in May with Volkswagen to explore cooperation in hybrid cars and lithium battery-powered electric vehicles.

BYD was China’s sixth-biggest car manufacturer by sales last year and is 10% owned by US businessman Warren Buffett.

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